My first post of this year briefly discussed my goal of doing 3,650 minutes of dry practice in 2019. These posts are mostly for my own accountability. Here are my results to this point in the year:
January 1 – 11: 200 minutes, January 12 – 31: 140 minutes
February 1 – 15: 140 minutes, February 16 – 28: 130 minutes
March 1 – 15: 160 minutes, March 16 – 31: 160 minutes
April 1 – 15: 140 minutes, April 16 – 30: 160 minutes
May 1 – 15: 140 minutes, May 16 – 31: 170 minutes
June 1 – 15: 180 minutes,
June 16: 10 minutes forward & lateral movement
June 17: 10 minutes presentation
June 18: 10 minutes forward, rearward, & lateral movement
June 19: 10 minutes movement with reloads, 10 minutes shotgun “up” drills
June 20: 10 minutes presentation w/ multiple targets transitions
June 21: 10 minutes forward and lateral movement with malfunctions
June 22: 10 minutes presentation w/ multiple targets transitions
June 23: 10 minutes lateral movement
June 24: 10 minutes presentation w/ multiple targets transitions
June 25: 10 minutes movement with reloads
June 26: 10 minutes presentation w/ multiple targets transitions
June 27: 10 minutes forward and lateral movement with malfunctions
June 28: 10 minutes forward, rearward, & lateral movement
June 29: 10 minutes, reloads
June 30: 10 minutes presentation w/ multiple targets transitions
Monthly Target: 300 minutes
Monthly Actual: 340 minutes
Cumulative Target: 1820 minutes
Cumulative Actual to Date: 1,870 minutes (31 hours, 10 minutes)
Presentation w/ Multiple Targets
Presentations are important. If I have to use my handgun in self-defense, there is a 100% chance I will have to draw it, while there are much smaller chances I will need reloading, malfunction clearing, and other skills. Because of this I will continue to make “boring” presentation a staple of my dry practice diet for the remainder of the year.
Dry practice can build in some bad habits if one isn’t practicing mindfully. There’s no recoil, so it can be easy to get lazy on the grip (hence the silly “GTGH” mantra I wrote about last time). Another area I notice myself getting lazy about is follow-through. I’ll snap the gun out, drop the hammer, then jerk the gun back to get to the next rep. I’ve been trying to remind myself to keep the gun out there and it hasn’t been an unqualified success. So, I decided to trick myself.
Instead of a single target, I put two out, varying the height and distance from each other, or placing them 90 degrees from each other. After presenting on the first target, I would transition the gun to the second. This tricked me into following through where otherwise I might not have. This also let me work on driving the gun from target to target. I was pretty happy with how this worked out.
Par times for presentations from concealment this period were around 0.8 to 1.0 second. To be clear that doesn’t imply I’m putting an accurate shot on target in those time frames – just that they were the goal. I’ve come a long way from the ~2 second draw I started this year with.
I spent every-other day this period working movement while manipulating the firearm. This including shooting, reloading, and clearing malfunctions on the move. For shooting on the move, I would spend my session advancing toward the target, retreating from it in reverse, and moving laterally across the targets left-to-right and right-to-left.
When working on other gun manipulations things got a little more spirited. I wanted to see how well ingrained some skills were, so I decided to do them while sprinting. I ran reloads against the clock (1.8 – 2.0 second par) and actually surprised myself with how well I did.
The Bottom Line
June was a good month. Approaching the halfway point was a little mental boost. This is the first month where I haven’t missed a single day.
I have dry practiced, on average, over 10 minutes a day for half a year. Has this transformed me into a future highly-ranked competitive shooter? No, but it has made me a massively faster and arguably more accurate shooter. It has instilled a lot of confidence and it has made me ridiculously familiar with my EDC gun. It has thoroughly ingrained more complex skills like reloads and malfunction clearance.
Although the cost was only ten minutes per day, that time has accumulated. I have spent almost the equivalent of four eight-hour days dry practicing this year. As I say at the end of each post, ten minutes is nothing – we all spend at least ten minutes of each day doing something that conveys no benefit to us at all. But ten minutes can add up to something substantial; take that time and turn it into something you really want.
If you aren’t dry practicing. . . WHY NOT? It’s not hard to find 10 minutes a day to dry practice, and it’s COMPLETELY FREE. Take ten minutes you’d be spending vegging out on Instagram or in front of the TV and turn it into a tangible skill.